Sunday, November 22, 2009


No need to spend an arm and a leg for a fancy lunch at Mariposa, famous for their popovers when you can make your own! I finally found popover pans for $7 each at Ross buried deep in the clearance pile. Patience pays off! I couldn't bring myself to spend close to $20 a pan available only at Williams and Sonoma, so popovers had to wait.
It's so easy. Simple ingredients of room temperature unsalted butter to generously butter pans. First whisked 1 1/2 C milk and 6 eggs. Added 1 1/2 C flour, 3/4 t salt, 1 1/2 T confectioners' sugar. You would think there would be more to this recipe but no, that's it. Filled each cup with 1/4 C plus 1 T of batter and baked for only 23 minutes in a preheated 425 degree oven.
Nothing like a sight to see a popover popping over, clamoring over each other yelling pick me, pick me to be chosen and gobbled with butter and jelly.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Tea Sandwiches-Rosemary Chicken Salad, Cucumber, and Tomato

I enjoy high tea at fancy, expensive places but I have made a pledge to cut back on frivolous spending. Thus, I have been experimenting with recipes for mini sandwiches. It's been slow year for desginer cookies, but my cookie cutters came in handy for special shaped sandwiches.
Rosemary Chicken Salad was delectable with 3 C chopped roasted chicken which I purchased at Costco, 1/4 C green onions, 1/4 C maynonnaise, 1 t chopped fresh rosemary, salt, and freshly ground pepper. Personally, I would have added more mayonnaise but everyone liked it just the way it was.
It wouldn't be a tea party without cucumber sandwichs. Scored the sides of cucumber, sliced, and placed in a bowl filled with vinegar and water. Combined 1/4 C mayonnaise, 8 oz cream cheese, garlic powder, onion salt, and a dash of Worcestershire. Spread on bread slices, placed cucumber slices on bread, and topped with a dash of paprika. It was ok, nothing to get excited about but having these sandwiches set the tone for our tea party. Light, simple, and very English!
2 lovely girls prepared the tomato sandwiches which is a Southern classic. Freshly picked basil leaves and sliced Roma tomatoes were placed in between heart shaped bread slices spread with mayonnaise. Simply divine!
I couldn't imagine life without mayonnaise. The more, the better. A sandwich isn't a sandwich without this essential condiment.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Open Faced Egg Florentine

I haven't had eggs over easy in years! It was soo good! I grew up eating eggs every day. Forget all the bad press, eggs are good for you! Mixed riccota and Parmesan cheese and spread on a slice of sourdough already buttered. Baked at 400 until golden brown and added my blanched spinach which I had to consult my nephew chef on how to prepare. I thought of adding steamed spinach but he advised me to blanch it. Fried an egg in butter and placed on the spinach and sprinkled salt and pepper. Rich, filling and tempted to eat 2, but you wouldn't dare.

Saturday, November 14, 2009


Have you ever made fresh lemonade? I broke down and finally bought a juicer. Squeezing 5 lemons is a lot easier when you have an electric gadget! 1/2 C of lemon juice was added to 3/4 C sugar, 4 C water and ice. Potent yet pleasing. Tangy, tart, lemoney. A smart drink, not your powdered variety. Where's the vodka?!

Pari Dos Dos (Tambo Tambo, Ginataen)

I finally mustered the courage and confidence to make this dish that I have enjoyed since I was a little girl. My mother always made this dish for my father's birthday and my Auntie Romana is a master at creating this pot of nostalgia that brings back all the pleasant memories of rolling mochi balls with sisters, cousins, and aunties.
Due to the lack of recipe, I spent the afternoon with my aunt assisting and taking notes months ago. If you have the time and the right ingredients, go for it! The recipe calls for glutinous rice flour and Mae Ploy brand coconut milk. Auntie added her own twist of purple Okinawan sweet potatoes and tapioca that makes this dish so ono (Hawaiian slang for delicious).
I nailed the recipe and can honestly say that Auntie would be proud. I even guessed right with the measurements.

Pancit (Filipino Noodles)

I spent Veteran's Day with my favorite veteran, my dad making pancit to celebrate my sisters' and brother's birthdays. Pancit is served at birthdays to wish a long life. The recipe starts with a visit to the Oahu Noodle Factory on King Street. You feel transported back in time as you walk into the dusty, floury shop where I believe they still use the same machines from the day they opened 30 years ago. My dad is a master at using simple ingredients of fresh noodles, green beans, mushrooms, carrots, pork, oyster sauce and shoyu, no measuring necessary. He's that awesome!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Cream Cheese-Walnut Cookies

The combination of cream cheese, and not the low fat stuff and walnuts is divine. A light, buttery, hearty and fulfilling cookie that would complement a cup of tea. Before starting, make sure butter and cream cheese are at room temperature which will facilitate the mixing and produce light, buttery cookies. 1 1/2 C of walnuts were also toasted to bring out its nutty taste. I never realized the difference that makes, but I always toast my nuts before adding to a recipe.
Whisked 4 C flour and 1 1/2 t salt. I admit I have been lazy about cleaning Magnolia so I've been getting by with just using a hand held mixer. Creamed 4 sticks,yes 4 sticks of butter (Paula Deen watch out!)and 6 oz cream cheese. Mixed in 1 1/4 C sugar and vanilla, then added flour mixture and walnuts. Rolled dough into logs, wrapped in parchment paper and froze until firm. When ready to bake, rolled in chopped walnuts, coating completely. Sliced into 1/4-1/2 in thick rounds. Baked for 18 minutes at 350.
Delicious with my afternoon tea! Buttery, hearty, and just the right amount of sweet!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Chocolate Walnut Biscotti

The recipe was originally titled Chocolate Pistachio Biscotti but walnuts are my favorite nuts and recently read the health benefits of walnuts, so they were substituted for pistachios. Whisked flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar with handheld mixer until light and fluffy. Added eggs, then flour mixture. Beat in 1/2 C of walnuts and 1/2 C of chocolate chips. Formed 2 logs, slightly flattened about 12 by 4 inches. Baked until slightly firm about 23 minutes at 350 degrees. Cooled for 5 minutes and reduced oven to 300 degrees. Cut biscotti diagonally into 1 inch thick slices and arranged cut sides down and baked for 8 minutes. Cooled completely on wire rack.
Enjoyed biscotti! Rich, thick, and fudgy thanks to the cocoa powder and chocolate. Walnuts made them even better.

Peanut Butter Cookie

Scott had a bad day at work and wanted to cheer him up with one of his favorite flavors-peanut butter! Recipe is so simple, it's simply insane. Preheated oven to 325 degrees and greased 2 cookie sheets. Mixed 1 C flour, 1/2 t baking soda, and 1/4 t kosher salt in a small bowl. In a medium bowl, creamed 1 stick of butter that was brought out at least 2 hours prior to starting the recipe with 1/2 C each of light brown and granulated sugars with a handheld electric mixer. Beat in egg and added 1/2 t vanilla extract and organic peanut butter. Added flour mixture and beat until well mixed. Dropped dough onto cookie sheet by tablespoonfuls and pressed each cookie lightly with floured fork. Baked for 9 minutes, rotated and baked for 8 more. Cooled on baking sheet for 5 minutes and cooled on wiring rack.

Pizza Margherita

I did it! I made my own pizza-from scratch! If you have time, take the opportunity to make your own sauce, dough, and assemble your own pizza. Visited the Farmer's Market and purchased fresh Roma tomatoes to make sauce which required only olive oil, fresh oregano and basil from my herb garden, 4 very ripe Roma tomatoes, salt, and pepper. Placed all ingredients in a pot over medium heat and brought to a simmer. Reduced heat to low and cooked for 10 more minutes. Sauce was chunky and simply good.
Felt a little nervous preparing dough but there was no need to, it turned out perfect! Combined yeast, flour, sugar, and warm water. Mixed 2 1/2 C of flour and salt, created well in center and stirred in yeast mixture with 1 T olive oil and more warm water. Magnolia came to the rescue to knead dough for 8 minutes. Placed dough in a bowl, preferably glass or ceramic and rolled around to coat all sides with 1 t of olive oil. Set aside, covered for 1 1/2 hours. Used a floured rolling pin to roll each piece into thin crusts.
Sprinkled cornmeal on pizza pan, placed dough on pan, drizzled olived oil and sprinkled with salt. Spread sauce, top with fresh mozarella cheese slices, and sprinled fresh basil. Baked for 8 minutes at 500 degrees.
I though it was delicious for my first attempt to make homemade pizza, Scott loved it but Anna did not enjoy it at all. She kept comparing it to Pizza Hut. Sorry Babe, we'll be making more homemade pizza! Maybe adding pepperoni, Italian sausage or prosciutto will change her mind.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Happy Halloween

Thank God for box cake mix! It was the annual Halloween party and despite school, soccer, and parent conferences, I couldn't let the kids down, especially Anna who dressed up as Jasmin. Baked 2 batches of chocolate and vanilla cupcakes for the soccer team and the nephews who came over for dinner. Kids had a blast decorating with Halloween sprinkles special ordered from Fancy Flours that they gobbled one up before dinner. No one seemed to notice that it wasn't homemade. I especially liked Martha's cupcake liners!
Before sending the kids off in the neighborhood, we had a buffet of some of my favorite foods. Jeannie prepared her tasty dips-clam and kamaboko and Rose cooked up a pot of pinacbet which I think she does the best (shh..don't tell my mom).
I made sure to have Dad cook up a pot of pork guisantes which is one of my favorite Filipino dishes and Tess made her delicious somen salad which everyone adores.
A lot of children showed up and we emptied the cauldron of candies.